Make good pitch to Markakis

Bill's Rant

July 23, 2008

As you examine the Orioles' roster and align it with Andy MacPhail's two- or three-year plan for rebuilding the franchise, there are precious few names that one can imagine being there when the club is fighting for a playoff spot in some future September.

There are Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and maybe a few others, but it's a fairly short list and among the position players, it's Markakis whose name is, or should be, at the top of that list.

The team and Markakis' agent had been in talks for a contract extension, but those discussions have reportedly been suspended until after the season. Markakis will be eligible for arbitration in the offseason, and he's under the contractual control of the club through 2011.

Already, as Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec pointed out, the team unilaterally renewed Markakis' contract for this year at a bargain-basement $455,000.

Clearly, the player is going to get his money one way or the other.

It seems it would be an excellent idea to get him taken care of for the long term without any further rancor fouling the mood of the guy you hope will be one of your leaders in that future September playoff run.

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